At Bamburi Cement Health and Safety (H&S) is our overarching value. Simply put, work does not go on if the health and safety of anyone is compromised.
The ‘World Day for Safety and Health at Work 2021’ theme was ‘Anticipate, Prepare and Respond to Crises – Invest Now in Resilient Occupational Safety and Health Systems’.
And as we celebrated it, we reflected on our journey, and how Bamburi Cement has become an authority in Health & Safety in our industry, where we continue to share our best practices with different stakeholders – both government and private sector – and learn from others as well.
A few things that have supported our health and safety progress:
At Bamburi Cement, Health and Safety is an overarching value. It takes precedence over production or any other business priorities. Leadership team leads from the front and by example.
Led from the top makes it part and parcel of day to day operations, as opposed to a stand-alone activity. It’s part of our culture, and easy for employees and partners to emulate.
“Boots on the Ground” program supports our leaders to spend time on the ground where operational work is ongoing, engage with employees to reinforce positive safe behaviors and practices, as well as together with the employees identify hazards and have them resolved speedily. The engagements and hazards identified are logged into our H&S system as Hazards Ids or Visible Personal Commitment (VPC) conversations, for tracking and closure of actions.
Worker shadowing is also part of leadership KPIs, where leaders ‘walk in the shoes’ of workers, be able to relate with and understand their pain-points and successes, and then together come up with solutions to make carrying out their work safer.
As an example, despite the pandemic disruption, in the month of March: 233 VPCs and 2695 safety observations done; and 4366 hours spent in the field by leaders
Every activity, be it production, maintenance, a truck driving in to load cement, or a cleaner cleaning an office, begins with a simple question: is this job safe to do? Have all the risks been identified and mitigated following the hierarchy of controls? A continuous improvement mindset and systems in place to identify safer practices.
Systems to support consistency and eliminate discrepancies. We have Standards, Policies and Rules that everyone lives by – and not just staff, but our partners as well. To engage any supplier part of requirements is to check and ensure they meet the H&S requirements, then we continuously audit and support them to have continuous improvement throughout our engagement.
Manufacturing operations come with high health and safety risks.
Examples of how we anticipate, prepare and respond to crises where health and safety is concerned.
Industrial operations safety
Anticipate – We look at what can go wrong, based on what has happened elsewhere, in similar operations as ours. What can we do to prevent it from happening to us?
Prepare – Critical Controls Management program supports us by pre-identifying 8 high risk jobs in our operations and systematically carrying out a gap assessment, identifying actions.
Respond – With the support of our leadership team the actions are closed in a sustainable way thereby eliminating risks. Audits (internal and external), assessments and tests are continuously carried out to ensure the mechanisms stand the test of time and would avert incidents.
Anticipate – Our operations are logistics-heavy, and because of road conditions and the fact that we have no control over unsafe behaviors of other motorists, we have to always anticipate accidents.
Prepare – through two key ways: an ongoing defensive driving training and refreshers program for our drivers, and the IVMS (In-Vehicle Monitoring System). Each vehicle is fitted with IVMS which helps to proactively monitor the driving behavior of drivers – we monitor harsh (emergency) braking, harsh acceleration, speeding, free-wheeling (driving in neutral gear), fatigue driving among others, which are common causes of accidents.
Respond – After every trip we review with the driver their performance in these areas, and give them feedback to correct any issues identified. This way we proactively work at changing behavior before it results into an accident. Through our reward & sanction policy we also reward those who do well to reinforce behavior, but also sanction those who do not change.
The same has been with the Covid-19 preparedness plan – where we continue to anticipate, prepare and respond to the changing health risks during the pandemic.